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Finally, the structure of ICT spending by segment is slowly shifting. The most notable change is the increasing share of consumer spending, which now constitutes one third of the total ICT market (Figure 1.30). This is mainly driven by the increasing demand for mobile devices (smartphones, netbooks, tablets). ICT spending is also growing faster in the natural resources sector, followed by the construction and the energy and utilities sector, possibly owing to the commodities boom and the shift to “smart” infrastructures (see OECD, 2010, Chapters 5 and 6). The educational services sector is also growing rapidly.

Spending by transport, retail trade and wholesale and distribution has grown somewhat more slowly, and in some cases their shares have even declined. Relatively slow growth by financial services is attributable in part to the collapse in expenditures during the crisis.

bubble. ICT business R&D also continues with both Korea and Finland reaching over 1.5%

of GDP.

In terms of policy, national ICT strategies in OECD countries generally consider ICT R&D programmes a key priority for economic recovery because they are essential to industrial capacity and to underpin innovation. In the 2012 OECD ICT policy questionnaire, 16 out of 22 countries indicated a high or medium priority for R&D programmes. ICT R&D programmes also feature among the top 3 priorities for a sustainable economic recovery.

Chapter 8 on government priorities and policy developments provides more information and specific examples of R&D strategies from countries.

This chapter has examined the Internet within the broader view of the ICT sector as a whole. The remainder of the Internet Economy Outlook focuses on the Internet and the economy, with chapters on Internet trends and developments, ICT and Internet use, emerging technologies, e-health, broadband content, security and privacy, and concluding with a chapter on policy issues and developments.


1. The business sector is usually an aggregate used for international comparisons, which is activity based rather than institution based. Here it is defined as per the ISIC Rev. 3.1 activities 10 to 74, excluding 70.I.e. excluding Agricultural activities, Real Estate and Community and personal services.

2. The Information, Communication Technology sector (ICT) is here defined by the OECD in terms of the following ISIC Rev. 3.1 classes:


3000 – Office, accounting and computing machinery

3130 – Insulated wire and cable 3210 – Electronic valves and tubes and other electronic components

3220 – Television and radio transmitters and apparatus for line telephony and line telegraphy 3230 – Television and radio receivers, sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus, and associated goods

3312 – Instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing, navigating and other purposes, except industrial process equipment

3313 – Industrial process equipment Services

5151 – Wholesale of computers, computer peripheral equipment and software 5152 – Wholesale of electronic and telecommunications parts and equipment 6420 – Telecommunications

7123 – Renting of office machinery and equipment (including computers) 72 – Computer and related activities.

This definition was originally approved in 1998. It was amended slightly in 2002 to reflect ISIC Rev. 3.1 changes to wholesale.

3. Note that definitions of ICT goods and services groupings vary across countries depending on the industry classification and available level of detail.

4. The high share of net debt among the top 250 ICT firms is largely due to telecommunication services firms, for which the net debt tends to increase with firm size. The correlation between 2009 annual revenue and net debt is only significant for telecommunication companies. The R2 is 0.85 excluding China Mobile, the richest firm in the top 250 ICT firms, and the relationship between annual revenue and net debt is a linear function: net debt [USD million] = 0.5annual revenue [USD million] + 1 395 [USD million]. See OECD (2010).

5. The Asia Pacific region includes Australia, China, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, and Chinese Taipei.

6. Where there are few firms, performance is firm-specific rather than industry-based or country-based.

7. R&D spending reflects past firm performance and potential future performance. Past performance provides funding for current R&D spending and current R&D a platform for future growth and profits. It may also be seen as an element of cost affecting operating margins, although in the revised System of National Accounts, output of R&D will be classified as assets and expenditure as investments, OECD (2010).

8. Research and development (R&D) intensity for a country is defined as the R&D expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). For an enterprise, R&D intensity is the ratio of a firm’s R&D investment to its revenue (the percentage of revenue that is reinvested in R&D). R&D is an important driver of innovation, and R&D expenditure and intensity are two of the key indicators used to monitor resources devoted to science and technology worldwide.

9. For Canada, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa and Switzerland, data on ISIC 30 were not available. For Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand and Slovak Republic data on ISIC 642 were not available and for South Africa and Switzerland data on ISIC 72 were not available either.


OECD (2008),OECD Information Technology Outlook 2008, OECD Publishing.


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OECD (2010),OECD Information Technology Outlook 2010, OECD Publishing.


OECD (2011a),OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2011, OECD Publishing.


OECD (2011b),The Role of Internet Intermediaries in Advancing Public Policy Objectives, OECD Publishing. doi:


OECD (2012a),OECD Economic Outlook, Vol. 2012/1, OECD Publishing.


OECD (2012b), “ICT Skills and Employment: New Competences and Jobs for a Greener and Smarter Economy”,OECD Digital Economy Papers, No. 198, OECD Publishing.


PricewaterhouseCoopers (2011),MoneyTree Survey Report, October. London, PwC.

WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) (2011),World Intellectual Property Report 2011: The Changing Face of Innovation. Geneva, WIPO,www.wipo.int/econ_stat/en/economics/wipr/.

WITSA (World Information Technology and Services Alliance) (2010),Digital Planet 2010, WITSA, based on research conducted by Global Insight, Inc.

WSTS (World Semiconductor Trade Statistics) (2012),WSTS Semiconductor Market Forecast Spring 2012, June 2012,www.wsts.org/PRESS/Recent-News-Release.

ZenithOptiMedia (2011), “Quadrennial events to help ad market grow in 2012 despite economic troubles”,www.zenithoptimedia.com/about-us/press-releases/zenithoptimedia-adspend-forecast-update- dec-2011/.